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The Cycle

News/Business. Politics, the economy, media, sports and any other issues that grab people's attention. New.

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Us 10, America 6, Koop 4, John Kerry 3, Warfarin 3, Bob 3, Garth 3, Max 3, Bjorn 3, Brown 2, Tyco Integrated Security 2, Obama Administration 2, John Brennan 2, Unitedhealthcare 2, Cia 2, Steve 2, Syria 2, Libya 2, U.s. 2, Afghanistan 2,
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  MSNBC    The Cycle    News/Business. Politics, the economy, media, sports  
   and any other issues that grab people's attention. New.  

    February 27, 2013
    12:00 - 1:00pm PST  

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♪ oh what a relief it is! >> per today in the cycle, the state of politics can put that expectation is the root of all heartache. americans dent expect much in the brand-new nbc poll. >> it's clear the sequester fight is putting pressure on both houses. will either survive the tragedy. >> to be or not to be? is it better to be three hours too soon than a minute too late? the republicans only after the cuts take effect. >> all the world's a stage and the men and women merely players. they have exits and entrances. this is ours.
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>> let's call this wednesday numbers wednesday. thank god rwe are jumping at shakespeare wednesday. i never read a single one. >> breaking news. >> except for king leer. was that one? i don't know. we have the sequester clock in full countdown mode and a new "wall street journal" news poll looking at the blame game known as the sequester stand up. let's look at the polls. no good news for the republicans. their brand is mired in the 20s. we asked about it in eight of them. the democrats come out on. here are the three where they win. the news is not all good for the obama side either. the president's job approval rating is down a bit to 50%. when we asked about the direction of the country, more said we are heading in the wrong direction. in an attempt to reverse that,
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obama is bringing congressional leaders to talk sequester. 85 billion in cuts kicks in, sparking the question why wait until friday. one republican calls it a be rated farce saying they should ought to pretend to try. they said they are holding off until after the senate votes and like every other plan. today the president thanked the leaders for agreeing to talk on friday to sort it out. i have been trying to come up on deadline 27 and the fiscal impact. it doesn't seem to be as much urgency, but i wonder if that's not so much an accident.
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the understanding here this is a play where the sequester will happen and it's a deadline where it takes a while for them to be phased in. you have the continuing resolution that funds the government. the calculation by the white house is it's going to take that time and the continuing resolution to build pressure to make the deal the white house is looking for. is that your read on the situation? >> that's my read. the polls suggest that they are not alarmed or outraged to force machines to do something they don't want to do like raise taxes. the "wall street journal" poll last night, 46% of americans said they were willing to stomach the sequester. bloomberg put the number at 40. when you have a constituency, the republicans are not going to feel that much pressure. especially when the public is
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not paying that close of attention. popular more american who is are not even paying attention to the sequester. the fiscal cliff and the debt ceiling was the opposite. the number of people paying very close attention outnumbered those paying close attention by 2-1 margins. the white house will count on the sequester being unpopular and give them the leverage necessary to force republicans to choose between compromise or a government shut down by saying if you do not -- if you are here to balance the approach, we won't vote for a continuing resolution. i think the white house would be in a strong mission to position to force republicans to compromise. >> you mentioned the possibility and we think back to the fall of 1995 when bill clinton and the congress had to stand up and clinton refused to sign the bill. we had a shut down and the public sided strongly against the republicans and they folded quickly on that.
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what's your read right here. were you looking at the numbers and playing this out. is it more likely it will take a shut down and the run up to the shut down. >> we are talking about raising taxes. they are not talking about folding taxes. it would be very difficult for speaker boehner to raise revenue without going all the way to the end. yesterday ron johnson suggested that barron could lose it and the fact that they are talking about it speaks to the cost of the leadership. it's quite possible that the democrats will need to be being willing to go all the way through the shut down if they intended to create the simples for republicans to raise revenue. that involves dismannedling unity and saying we can't take this backlash and all of that
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comes out after a shut down. >> nate dog, nice to see you. i want to talk about this poll. interesting though not totally surprising numbers. total positive. obama at 49%. the nra at 42%. surprisingly strong democratic party behind the nra and then there is a leap down here where the congratulate lick church and the go sprks way down there at 29%. do you think obama's popularity will help him leverage in the sequester and the lack of popularity hurt them or is this the gop saying we don't believe in government. we want to damage government to
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aid our thesis that government is the problem and working into their big scheme. >> i don't think that the president's favorability realityings are impressive. being under 50% on popularity doesn't really bode well for the ability to pressure republicans and gop-leaning districts that have an unfavorable impression of the president or where his favorability is lower. is the president an asset compared to the republicans? absolutely. the issue is that the republicans might be willing to hold out through about anything to maintain lower tax rates or at least to prevent closing loopholes. it's a public that demands a balanced approach and doesn't want to see the shut down. >> let's take a look at the magazine's recent headlines.
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asleep on the sequester and better hope they don't wake up. let's be honest. we mentioned at the table a lot of scary cuts will happen later. some will happen slowly. some are not going to happen at all and a lot of them will be given discretion as to how they deal with sequester that might make the cuts less painful and frankly entire regions that may not feel the pain at all. i am wonder figure you think obama may have miscalculated a little talking about his public popularity. miscalculated his ability to scare republicans and scare the country away from this looming sequester. >> i agree with you. that's why i butt a lot of my eggs in the shut down baskts. i don't think that will be enough to force republicans to save. if we are talking about spending
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cuts, it's possible that the sequester can prove unpopular, i'm skeptical that it will produce a ka taft rory that forces republicans to save. they released a bunch of immigrants and maybe tomorrow they will decommission the uss ronald reagan. we have one of these every day for a month. if two weeks from now, you will that happens is the lining of parks are really long, that's not the way they are forced to give up on the agenda. the shut down or threat of it, that i think could get republicans to budge. >> you you referenced the poll numbers and more specifically, 40% of americans were paying close attention to the fiscal cliff. only 25% say they are paying attention to the sequester. i mean this as a serious question. did we not give it a scary enough name? we called it end times or the big ax of 2013.
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steve is frightened of asteroids. maybe there is asteriod play. it's a more exciting and scare name marketed. >> sequester geddon or something like that. >> a democrat came up with that name. >> the debt ceiling didn't have a great name. 50% are paying close attention to that. >> there you go. >> boom. >> we got through the segment without having to quote more shakespeare and i don't know anymore. >> to be or not to be. what a choice. >> then you ruined it. you did it yourself. >> i screwed the lineup.
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thank you for joining us. the supreme court is hearing one of the most important cases and how the decision can affect our political process. the pope's decision has been made and his public goodbye is made. what now for the catholic church. a busy news day for wednesday, february 27th.
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. a landmark law faces its most serious court. justices heard more than an hour of argument about a key provision of the voting rights
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act that requires statings to get approval before making changes in the way elections of held. most of the states are in the deep south and argue that the law infrinchls on their sovereignty. the obama administration helped millions of americans exercise a right to vote and getting rid of it jeopardizes that. pete williams is outside the supreme court for us. pete, there was an interesting exchange between chief justice roberts and the government's top lawyer. >> he was making his point that the law does note accurately reflect the current conditions as opposed to what they did when congress approved this. the chief justice asked the lawyer for the obama administration which is the state that has the worst ratio of african-american voter registration and turn out to whites? the answer is massachusetts. mississippi he said has the best. his point being and i think most
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of the conservatives seem to agree with him here, the coverage area no longer fits the problem. the conservatives almost i would say to a person at least five seem to think that's the fatal problem with this law. the liberal members seem to think it's good enough. a close enough fit. that's really what the question is here. the supreme court it seemed likely to be on the verge of striking down at least the part of theula law for the coverage here. nay have a new new map to get it going here. >> thanks as always. let's spin on this. it's treacherous to talk about sometimes because any secret me in or criticism is tainted by the racism.
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there legitimate reasons to alter or do away with section five. there already mechanisms in place for any citizen to pursue claims for section two. election law furthermore should apply to every jurisdiction equally. there should be less bureaucracy and the argument is if we stream line it makes it easier for people to vote. all kinds of people. this really turns civil rights division into a permanent department of precrime that makes little sense. the process tow bail out of the watch list is arbitrary and expensive and difficult. remaining in it, as pete was discussing, it relies on the outdated formulas that don't
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take any account current information. it's not evidence-based and that begs scrutiny. >> these are reasonable questions. one of the problems is you are asking people to suffer in terms of election law and in terms of redistricting in terms of when the election will be held and go to the court and ask for them after the election has been held and maybe a second election. section two it takes years to get through the courts. they are suffering discrimination and then having to prove it. that is not what we want to do. rather than stopping the discrimination at the door. the idea that these -- these are out date and these areas moved forward. the court today asked why is shelby, al bottoma bringing this when they have evidence of recent discrimination. the rights act was successful in knocking down a voter id law in texas that the court ruled was
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discriminatory towards black and brown people. the same in florida where they tried to stop early voting. that is used a lot and there is a need for this law. scalia spoke to your point. is this a permanent racial a littlement and what tfundamenta constitutional rights to be able to vote. ultimately what we are talking about is the browning of america. very soon and a couple of decades, there will be more people of color than white people in america. if you think that shift in power will not be attempts to suppress the votes of black and brown people and paying attention to the history of america. it is going to be or has been that safety net that kept things fair. >> fortunately the bulk of the discrimination do come from the
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coverage area. 81% of successful section two lawsuits which is another part of the law come from the jurisdictions that are covered. is the coverage area perfect? it's not. we are seeing attempts coming across the country. the problem with the argument here and i'm not saying this is what you were saying, but it's let's just get rid of it and come up with a map that works and expand the coverage since we are seeing that across the country. my idea is to see them cover the country. make it uniform and put it on all of the durjurisdictions. it doesn't make sense to throw the baby out with the bath water since we don't have this perfect. let's not do it at all. there was an example i read about ari berman that is terrific and everybody should read. it's an example where section five was used in 2001 in
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mississippi. three weeks before election day. the all white counsel and mayor decided to cancel because the population shifted so it was majority african-american. they had candidates on the ballot and they decided to cancel the election. the court stepped in and said you can't do that. huh to commit that plan for approval before they could go through with it. unfortunately i think republicans gave us plenty of reasons this year for why this effort is still needed. it's interesting the timing. if this happened two years ago, the public would have been less engaged and less upset over getting rid of section five. >> you strike it down first and the state legislature, you think it was coordination here. the conservative movement. that would strike the law down. what fascinates me about the
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voter rights act is an as expect it is not part of the lawsuit. when you think about the issue of what the conditions were when it was enacted in 1965 and amended a few times, where we are now, you look at the unintended consequences and it raises questions. the thing that interests me is this. it was amended to get the minority and majority. know opportunity for blacks and hispanics to have representation in congress that. took effect after the 1990 census. that's where they do redistricting. this took effect after 1990 and there was an explosion in the first election. there was this explosion in the number of black members in congress. they set records and maintained the levels since then. it was approved by creating the districts and packing in urban areas and black voters and
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hispanic voters. when it's happened, there was an alliance between the black groups and republican party. they saw a huge opportunity here in redistricting to get all the voters into very tight narrow areas. they have a wider distribution across the states and here we are in 2013 and we can say there was nearly four dozen black members of the house of representatives that was pretty good. only two in the senate. they were only appointments. the track record of black members of the house moving up to run for governor or senate. they are stigmatized within the state's culture. they are too liberal and won't connect with the electorate and they don't have as much money and never have the money to run that. raises the question.
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i don't know the way around that because if you do away with the districts, you might see the numbers in the house dron. i don't know the way around it. it raises an interesting question. >> we will have to wait to hear the court's decision. the hope made his decision to step down, leaving the 1.2 billion member church without a pontiff. he delivered a message it is to faithful early this morning in st. peter's square. he will meet when they gather in roam to pick his successor. he will leave to start his retirement and they will convene soon after that. the facebook fans will talk about how the church will fare. the only way the church will be better off if is if they install a pope that moves from the 12th century to the 21st. harsh words. do you think there will be a fundamental shift in the church? we are looking for your thoughts. back to the imminent budget cuts
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and defense spending said to be chopped. could it be a good thing? the 24-year veteran who said america's military might is making us less safe. that's next. [ washer and dryer sounds ] for the things you can't wash, freshen them with febreze. ♪ because febreze doesn't just cover up odors... it penetrates deep into fabrics to eliminate odors and leaves a light, fresh scent. just another way febreze helps you breathe happy.
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with the sequestered deadline upon us, i know so from the countdown bug in the corner of the screen. everyone is out pleading for a stay of execution. the squeakiest wheel has been the military. janet napolitano warns the cuts will put national security at risk. cuts are unpopular with voters. the poll we talked about earlier with only 21% think the cuts are a good idea. an overwhelming 52% said they are a bad idea. we will count our next guest as part of the minority. he is a former analyst who said
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reducing military spending will make us safer in the long run. the guest spot is a 24 year veteran of the central intelligence agency and the author of the cost of american militarism. i hope you didn't out you there. >> it's too late to avoid that. >> tough love. >> steve is too. i forgot i was supposed to say that. >> neither confirm or deny. to your argument, we can afford and we should be aiming to cut military spending. two questions about that. the approach that the sequester provides for, this across the board 9% reduction. we are not targeting specific areas and leaving others alone. do you think we can avoid that? in general, what is the level of
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military spending that we should be aiming for? >> our current level is $570 billion. when you add the money to nuclear affairs and the department of energy and add in military intelligence, we are closing in on $1 trillion for defense, more than the world spends on defense. we have 1,000 overseas and deployed in country where is we have been since the end of world war ii and the numbers that we are. we are building cold war platforms. we go become to the secretary of defense bob gates and he said he was resigning and going home because he didn't want to associate with the military. he thought that was a bad thing. i think it would be a good thing if we avoid the tail merization of intelligence. they corrupted the cia.
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we shouldn't take the meat addict's approach and we need a discussion about how to make cuts to go back to 20 years ago when the soviet union collapse and we had an opportunity to do things differently. that's what we need to do. not use the same old thinking thinking they will get out o us out of the problems. >> the flip side is we should invest more in the state department and they did interesting polling asking what they would be willing to cut. americans are not that into cutting anything in particular, but the two things they were most willing to cut was foreign aid and the state department. how do we make the case that that's where the resources need to be and we should shift to those areas? >> the problem is that the state department has done a poor job of making the case. we haven't had an effective secretary of state since the
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early 1990s. james baker was the last effective secretary of defense. john kerry will do better. foreign aid is 1% of the budget. i don't know how much good it does. the problem is military aid. when you look at the customers for the kind of military aid that we give, what do you get in terms of aid to egypt and turkey and afghanistan and iraq and israel. what has been the security benefit from providing aid? i don't think we have gotten the trade off. they put more energy into regional and conceptual policy a nan sis. we have the staff created in the 1940s that had luminaries and people now have been the speech writers for secretaries of state
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like madeline albright and logging up a million miles each. i hope john kerry gets back to the business of the state department and that's serious conceptualization and implementation of foreign policy. so far obama has not had a foreign policy. he had domestic politics that he carried into the arena and hasn't surrounded himself with experts in the important regions. >> america's function is the world's policeman for several decad decades. will that continue and should that policy continue? >> i don't think it should continue. it probably will continue, but obama moved in the right direction in terms of leading for behind as he did in libya. getting the european powers involved. i think we could do more in the case of syria. i think syrians have become a humanitarian nightmare that
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could have been prevented if obama reacted more quickly. i think john kerry will push the administration and that direction. chuck hagel to a certain extent by not putting boots in the ground and areas where we know little and have no idea what the out come will be. the example is libya and what happened in benghazi. a huge intem jens failure. not the state department, but the cia. >> with syria, we move our red lines and losing credibility. you said that militarism has negatively affected the period abroad. i wonder if you weigh in on whether you think his drone program or the expansion of the drone program has damaged our reputation abroad even further. >> for damaged our reputation bad low.
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the idea that a president is sitting in the white house with a hit list with candidates for targeted killings is an outrage. the real blunder was to nominate john brennan as the director of central intelligence that explain a policy he orchestrated and conceived and is responsible for implementing. any other would note have dealt with the questions that john brennan had to deal with. i think obama should go back to the positions he had in the 2008 campaign when he talked about limits on the use of military power. limited utility of using the utility. when he branded afghanistan which was totally wrong, a war of choice and he understand that too to a certain extent in terms of a surge that wasn't very effective. he is trying to work his way
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out. mickael gorbachev did a better job. he gave them a year to show they could set out to do it. he set a time table and got the hell out of there. that's what obama needs to do. >> author of national insecurity. up next, reversing death. the doctor who said it's no longer just the stuff of sci-fi. >> the chance of a lifetime. >> it frees a human being. >> you never imagined where it would take him. >> he's cold. do you think he's dead? [ male announcer ] this is bob,
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a regular guy with an irregular heartbeat. the usual, bob? not today. [ male announcer ] bob has afib: atrial fibrillation not caused by a heart valve problem, a condition that puts him at greater risk for a stroke. [ gps ] turn left. i don't think so. [ male announcer ] for years, bob took warfarin, and made a monthly trip to the clinic to get his blood tested. but not anymore. bob's doctor recommended a different option: once-a-day xarelto®. xarelto® is the first and only once-a-day prescription blood thinner for patients with afib not caused by a heart valve problem, that doesn't require routine blood monitoring. like warfarin, xarelto® is proven effective to reduce the risk of an afib-related stroke. there is limited data on how these drugs compare when warfarin is well managed. no routine blood monitoring means bob can spend his extra time however he likes. new zealand! xarelto® is just one pill a day,
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call 1-888-xarelto or visit goxarelto.com. for more information including cost support options, exciting and would always come max and pto my rescue. bookstore but as time passed, i started to notice max just wasn't himself. and i knew he'd feel better if he lost a little weight. so i switched to purina cat chow healthy weight formula. i just fed the recommended amount... and they both loved the taste. after a few months max's "special powers" returned... and i got my hero back. purina cat chow healthy weight. what if you died and your heart stopped beating on its own and an hour or two or three later, doctors brought you back to life and what if the key was ice? it's happening and people are returning from the other side with incredible stories.
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>> i saw a magnificent gate for a lack of a better description. each moment is more glorious than the moment before. >> i don't know if i believe the memories, but the science around reviving bodies is real. our next guest is bringing people back without brain damage. they directed a clinical study and is the author of erasing death, the science that is rewriting the boundaries between and death. you are bringing people back from death after an hour or two or three. one of the things that is interesting to me is you are doing it with techniques that are not new. the defibrillator is back to the 1800s. ice is jut ice. we have been using it in medicine for a long time. is the will greater and the understanding of how to use the techniques is greater? >> the important point is
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throughout history, we never thought it possible to reverse death. everyone who is probably watching thinks of death is say finite point. if we say this person is dead, they wouldn't believe we can bring them back. modern science shows we can reverse death. the reason we can and i am not playing with words, but it's only after a person has died that the cells inside the body including the brain start to die. many people think they only have four minutes, but brain cells can be viable for up to eight hours. what we are doing is trying to put all of these things together to make sure we can bring people back to life after they died and then also make sure they don't have brain damage. including for instance the ice you talked about is obviously very old, but one of the most advanced things. if you cool the body down and slowed down the rate by which brain cells died and buy the doctors more time and prevent
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brain injuries that fix the problem that made the person die. like a heart attack. you can bring the whole person back to life. >> is this cryogenics and freezing somebody? >> no, we don't freeze people, but literally a slow chill. we take the body temperature down a few degrees. we start around 99 and we take them to around 90. it's safe, but cool enough to reduce brain activity by 30% and save the brain. to put it into perspective, we have to redefine the way we think of death. i'm sure you have seen the titanic and remember the rescue ship arrive and they found the corpses in the water. 1500 people died. if the ship sunk in 2012 made it of sn1912, the cooling would ha preserved the brain cells and we
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would have brought them back. >> how widespread is the procedure in the medical community right now? >> they were published more than ten years now and we have the highest recommendation. one of the difficulties we have is cardiac arrest is the same as death. it's not a heart attack. they can die anywhere and this subject is not owned by specialty. we have different levels of comfort and your chance of getting cooling therapy really depends on which hospital you end up at and which doctors happen to take care of you and which bed is available. >> one of the side effects of this procedure has been that you discovered amazing stories of people who have been dead and come back. have there been commonalities. >> bringing people back to life after they died, but they don't have brain damage. in order to do that, we had to
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cross over the threshold of death. the flip side is we never forget there is a human being. we study the experience and what we find is astonishing. people who died who have no brain function are able to recall events going on. they see things and hear conversations and their doctors are mystified. some of them are completely correct. what it seems to show us is that after we die, my consciousness and whatever you top the call it, it doesn't become that. we bring them back and fix the brain. >> what's the longest someone has been dead that you brought them back. >> that was in japan in 2011. a woman was found five to ten hours after she died and she was resuscitated for six hours and walked out three weeks later.
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about overactive bladder symptoms. [ female announcer ] know that gotta go feeling? ask your doctor about prescription toviaz. one toviaz pill a day significantly reduces sudden urges and accidents, for 24 hours. if you have certain stomach problems or glaucoma, or can not empty your bladder, you should not take toviaz. get emergency medical help right away if your face, lips, throat or tongue swells. toviaz can cause blurred vision, dizziness, drowsiness and decreased sweating. do not drive, operate machinery or do unsafe tasks until you know how toviaz affects you. the most common side effects are dry mouth and constipation. talk to your doctor about toviaz. . next week the fight for women's issues will charge through a new front line, video games. half the sky movement and based on the book and highlights the
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many issues around the world. it launches on facebook and combines social gaming with real life giving. matching donations from sponsors transforming you from a player to activist. half the sky is with the social impact games to raise awareness and money for issues from hiv to sex trafficking and disaster relief. the gaming community is a good to tap. the most popular video game did a billion dollars in sales and 15 days, no biggie. joining us now is the copresident of games for change, a nonprofit for promoting the games and one of the brilliant people behind half the sky movement and the game. michelle, thank you for being with us. how does the game work? what are players doing and how are they affecting change in the world? >> thanks for having me on. appreciate it. we begin our junior i and the game starts in india.
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it is basically going through simple quests. she is working with her family and trying to improve the fight for the children and taking her sick daughter to the doctor and what you are learning through playing the game is essentially she is making a difference in her life with her family, but also in her community. outside of her community going on to other countries, ultimately winding up in the u.s. because the game does in fact take you not just to over there, but also into the u.s. she is taking you on this journey and solving problems and taking women from a crush to opportunity. >> who are is the project aimed at. is it for teenage gamer or trying to get affluent social activists to increase awareness >> sure. so our organization games for change, our mission is improving
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social impact through the use of digital games. this game, half the sky movement the game, is really at its core about taking this message of how do you use a platform such as facebook to drive social action and positive change? how do you feel good playing a game? these are really games for goods. you want people to share their progress of what they're doing in the game. nick kristoff and cheryl, the authors of the book "half the sky" this is the newest installment of their movement. >> michelle, quickly, inside the game you can make donations, real world donations. so it's not just a game but you can actually make social change through playing this. >> exactly. so the whole point of the game is, you know, if you think about the stats. 300 million people play games on social platforms over the course of a month. if we take just a tiny fraction of that number and think about how can we get those people who are already online playing games
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and a lot of those people who are playing games, it's not, you know, a boy in the basement of his parents' home. many of the people playing games on facebook are women. 35-year-old women. so the person who's playing a game on facebook is also the person probably in their family who might be making decisions about donations, causes that they care about making charitable donations. as you're playing the game unlocking donations whether it's books that are being donated by the piercing foundation through room to read programs on the ground or it's life-saving surgeries that the foundation is doing. literally just by showing up, you are unlocking different kinds of donations. and you should feel good about this by sharing it with your friends. inviting your friends. it's something to feel good about. >> absolutely. it's really exciting direction. thank you so much. >> thank you so much. and it's half the sky movement.org.
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>> perfect. still ahead, steve kornacki on the inkocharacter who shocke america into change. >> this contains a drug called nicotine which is addictive. if i had my way i would say it is just as addictive as heroin or cocaine. we got nothing. we just bought our first house, we're on a budget. we're not ready for spring. well let's get you ready. very nice. you see these various colors. we got workshops every saturday. yes, maybe a little bit over here. this spring, take on more lawn for less. not bad for our first spring. more saving. more doing. that's the power of the home depot. get ready for spring with this ryobi 18-volt trimmer, just ninety- nine bucks.
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. he's a frightening individual. for someone to describe his opponents, those who hold opposing points of view, as depraved people. i don't find the man the kind of person i'd like to see in a position of high authority in this country. >> judged from the reaction on the left when ronald reagan
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announced his choice for surgeon general 32 years ago, you would have thought the man he chose had a horn and tail. c. everett koop had been the chief of surgery at children's hospital in philadelphia where he pioneered revolutionary techniques that saved countless lives. he was also a christian. democrats roared in protest and spent months fighting his nomination. reagan had been lektsed with a major assist from the right. and koop opposed that liberals believed the new president wants to take the country. the nomination is a disservice not only to the public health service and the public itself, but also to dr. koop. he is being honored for the most cynical of reasons. not for his medical skills but for his political compatibility, "new york times" wrote. but koop's opponents didn't
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really know him. scene reagan didn't either. he was also a man of science and immense integrity. when he was finally confirmed in 1981, koop said in the process becoming the most consequential surgeon general in the nation's history. smoking was one of his first crusades. the tobacco companies and allies in congress denied it but the evidence was overwhelming. koop had little official power but he had a big platform and he used it fearlessly. issuing blunt reports on the fatality of cigarettes and the danger of second hand smoke. and barn storming the country to urge americans to change their habits. jesse helms, one of the conservatives who championed his nomination turned on him. the governor of north carolina screamed for his impeachment. it all made koop's boss in the white house uncomfortable.